As the Toronto Raptors' 118-109 win over the Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals showed, Golden State needs Kevin Durant to get healthy.
The two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP has now missed the last six games after straining his calf during the third quarter of Game 5 of the Warriors' second-round NBA playoff series against the Houston Rockets.
Durant will not play in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, but he did offer a brief update on his rehab as he left Scotiabank Arena on Friday.
Kevin Durant juuuuuust left the arena after getting about an hour of treatment following Warriors practice. "Getting there," he said. No visible limp.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 31, 2019
No noticeable limp is the best possible news for Warriors fans.
The Warriors struggled against the Raptors' lengthy, athletic defense in Game 1, sorely missing Durant's ability to get a shot any team he chooses. The two-time defending champions reportedly had been concerned about their ability to win the Finals if Durant is unable to return in the series, and the Raptors certainly gave them reason to worry.
But the Warriors are battle-tested and almost certainly will be crisper in Sunday's Game 2.
With Durant appearing to be on the mend, the Raptors must protect home court in Game 2 or else they might be in trouble when KD re-enters the fold.